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Exit Discrimination in Major League Baseball: 1990-2004

  • Peter A. Groothuis
  • Richard Hill

Using a panel study of annual Major League Baseball data (1990-2004) we do not find evidence of exit discrimination against African-American players in Major League Baseball. Our findings are inconsistent with results from a study by Jiobu (1988) using 1971-1985 data which found that race decreased career length, ceteris paribus, for black players but not Hispanics. Our results are consistent with recent findings that failed to find evidence of exit discrimination in the NBA using data from the 1990s. In our semi-parametric duration analysis, we find that performance variables are important in determining career length. We find no evidence that race affects the career duration of black hitters. Past research had suggested that discrimination by majority, white fans led owners in sports to keep less talented white players on rosters. Our results suggest that team owners in the pursuit of championships keep talented players regardless of race. This is an affirmation of Becker's theoretical implications of market competition overcoming discrimination.

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File URL: http://econ.appstate.edu/RePEc/pdf/wp0702.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Appalachian State University in its series Working Papers with number 07-02.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:07-02
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Web page: http://www.business.appstate.edu/departments/economics/
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  1. Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "The Sports Business as a Labor Market Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 75-94, Summer.
  2. Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1998. "The Duration Of Medicaid Spells: An Analysis Using Flow And Stock Samples," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 667-675, November.
  3. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1991. "Discrimination in professional sports: A survey of the literature," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 44(3), pages 395-418, April.
  4. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  5. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  6. Kahn, Lawrence M & Sherer, Peter D, 1988. "Racial Differences in Professional Basketball Players' Compensation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 40-61, January.
  7. Örn B. Bodvarsson & Raymond T. Brastow, 1999. "A Test Of Employer Discrimination In The Nba," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(2), pages 243-255, 04.
  8. Bernt Bratsberg & Dek Terrell, 1998. "Experience, Tenure, and Wage Growth of Young Black and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 658-682.
  9. Peter A. Groothuis & J. Richard Hill, 2002. "Exit Discrimination in the NBA: A Duration Analysis of Career Length Using Flow and Stock Samples," Working Papers 02-11, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  10. Hoang, Ha & Rascher, Dan, 1999. "The NBA, Exit Discrimination, and Career Earnings," MPRA Paper 3542, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Donald J. Cymrot, 1985. "Does Competition Lessen Discrimination? Some Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(4), pages 605-612.
  12. Kanazawa, Mark T & Funk, Jonas P, 2001. "Racial Discrimination in Professional Basketball: Evidence from Nielsen Ratings," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 599-608, October.
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